Normally, Right Now…

Normally, right now, I’d be staring at a pile of grading…actually, no, I’d be at the chiropractor, and she’d be adjusting me, and I would have just finished tutoring, because Tuesdays (it is Tuesday, right?) are LOOONNNGGG, and then I might decide not to do any work tonight because I’d done so much of it before. This week, we’d be starting our ecosystem part of the unit, which we were in the middle of trying to rewrite, because standards-based grading has changed how we assess kids. When we got told we weren’t coming back until April 20, we proactively picked up and moved everything on the calendar for that three-week time period, realizing we were going to lose most of the second-to-last unit. At this point, I suspect we may not come back this year in person, which brings up the question of what CAN we do remotely, and how in the hell are we going to teach sex ed this year? Or are we? It’s just unclear. And overwhelming at the moment. Worry about getting sick, about family members getting sick, already seeing friends getting sick, pile that on top of worry for students, worry about our jobs (if they figure out we can do this on a computer, will they just get rid of some of us? Will our kids even log in? OK. So let’s not dwell on that.). Let’s focus on the present. My head likes to dwell on the future What Ifs, which doesn’t really help.

What did I do today? I recorded three chapters of City of Ember for my students. I attempted 50 minutes of pilates with no equipment and a crazy woman who bends better than I ever did. I swore at the computer. I walked the kids and dogs for 2.35 miles. I avoided the cops. Apparently that’s a thing in the town right next to where I live, where they might pull you over and ask you why you’re out and about. I avoided humans, except for the three I live with. One has been at work for hours. I barely saw him last night. He has one more day of a hellish shift and then four days off. I potentially have four Zoom or Discord meetings in the next week. Wait. Five. I think. I refuse to wear a bra to any of them.

The series continues.

Managing anxiety is not easy without a pandemic. What helps in a pandemic? Blue skies and beautiful fluffy white clouds. Puppies. Kittens. Stitching. Reading. Drawing.

See? Much better. Making art, of course.

Yesterday, I pieced a backing for the quilt out of some light-damaged fabric I got from my SIL ages ago. I think that’s where it came from. I’m not sure if it came damaged or if that happened here, but it doesn’t matter if it’s on the back.

Yup. Those are some hippos on lime green. Great backing. I managed to pinbaste the whole thing last night…

I realize as I get older that this kneeling on the ground thing will get harder to do, but it still works for now. Keeping kittens off it took some assistance from the man.

This is funny. Luna’s like, “Hey Dad, WTF is she doing and WHY CAN’T WE PLAY WITH IT?”

Well yeah. You can’t. Every cat I’ve ever lived with at some point has skidded across the room into a quilt laid out on the floor and destroyed what I was trying to do.

In the middle of pinning it…every time I do this, I end up throwing one or two pins out because they’re too dull or they won’t close right any more. I never seem to run out.

I don’t know how that works. They must be breeding.

At this point, they can smell the edges. It’s all pinned. Can’t hurt it now.

So it’s ready for quilting. It’s a good thing I ordered batting before all this shut down…I didn’t have anything big enough in the house.

I’ve been lax with the two social-media things I’m doing this month, but #igquiltfest yesterday was Favorite Fabric. I’m like, yes, all of them. This is such a small subset of what I have…

It’s my palette. I have lots. I love all of it. Seriously, I tried to get rid of some once because I was like, there’s stuff I never use, so I was going through the drawers and only found like one fabric I thought I could get rid of. Now I just figure those will end up on the back of something some day. I haven’t bought fabric for backings in other two years. I just use what I have. Sometimes I piece it. Sometimes it’s something someone sent me. I don’t care. It’s on the wall. Who’s gonna see it?

Girlchild has been cooking up a storm…it’s been tasty.

I have to cook for myself tonight. I will survive. Somehow I persuaded her to prep the scones I like too…I think so she would have photos for Insta.

Because when I do it, they’re never lined up that nicely. Remember that for when I post MY photo. It’ll be like a jumbled mess.

She likes to cook. I don’t mind it, but I’d rather be doing other things. I stitched a little today, just wooly bits, because my head was being mean. Shut up, head.

OK. Well I haven’t done all the things on my list for today, but I did do about two hours of exercise. Still haven’t hit 10,000 steps for the day. During a normal school day, that’s easy. It’s a beautiful day. Spring is here. Weeds need pulling. I have sunflower seeds I could plant. I have a quilt to work on. There’s a bunch of food in the fridge, although we’re running low on eggs. I have nowhere to be tonight or all day tomorrow. Everyone I know and love is still healthy or managing their illness, as far as I know. I’m still OK. Not normal, just OK.

Nature Has No Idea…

Hey. It’s Saturday, right? I’m currently watching a webinar on the SAQA virtual conference that was supposed to be in Toronto…the opportunity to hear and see the speakers is nice, although I missed a lot of yesterday. They were recorded though, so I can watch later. I’ve never been able to actually attend a real conference, so this is nice, plus maybe it helps SAQA cover some of their conference costs from canceling. It’s really important that we try to give back to some of these groups and companies that are hard hit by the community and state shutdowns. As much as we can, anyway. I’m lucky to still be paid under contract, but the future is making me a bit nervous for all of us, in terms of health and money.

Yesterday was a strange day, highs and lows…trying to ignore the lows because they don’t deserve my energy right now.

The boychild and I went for a 6 1/2-mile hike locally, at Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch. It’s not as busy as some of the other locations in the area (just down the road from Iron Mountain), which is better for social distancing.

There were about 4 or 5 other groups we saw over the whole hike, but otherwise it was pretty isolated.

This is obviously a yucca pre-bloom, but it looks different than what I’m used to seeing…

The weather was perfect…not too warm, not too cold, no rain, although it was cloudy for much of it.

Trying to get enough exercise to sleep well and push some of the anxiety away has been difficult. My next step is to try and bookmark some of the videos from the gym and pilates studio and get my butt in gear.

We were really looking forward to our Spring Break trip of California National Parks, but with a cancellation of one of our Airbnbs and yesterday, the parks themselves are closing campgrounds, it seems that we are not going anywhere.

And we’re not sure when that will change, unfortunately. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later, but certainly watching the numbers on COVID-19 is not promising. Although California is supposed to be shut down, there are still lots of people going out and doing things…100 kids out in our mountains hanging out together yesterday…because kids think they are immortal, yeah? That’s what they think. Sigh.

For this hike, we go along a ridge and then down into that valley…then through that valley and back up and out. Like twice. It was a bunch of up and down, but nothing undoable.

My legs feel better today. Although this sign makes me laugh every time (it’s for bikes, not humans).

Pretty sure I never hit the 5 MPH mark. And I jogged a little bit (it’s easier to jog going downhill sometimes than walking, although my brain kept saying ‘Now is not the time to break your damn leg, woman!’).

A bunch of fungus among us…

These are fascinating…

This area burned in a wildfire 17 or so years ago…this is a burned log keeping a whole host of fungus alive.

There are signs all over, but this warns me that the next up is that piece…Cardiac Hill.

It’s actually not horrible. I stopped a few times. It’s up. Boychild often ditches me in these situations…

He waits for me at junctions. Lots of flowers around…

Spring is coming…and signs of deer!

Although we didn’t see one in person. Wrong time of day.

We got to the top and found we were victims of assholes…

Apparently this parking lot has an issue with break-ins. It’s pretty isolated. In all my years of hiking, this is the first time we’ve had this happen. There was nothing of value in the car…they just rifled through the glove box and the console. Unhappy with my about-to-expire National Park Pass, my sunscreen, and my umbrella. They got nothing. Stupid. Pain in my butt.

Oh well. I believe in karma.

Seriously. Even when we are locked down in a pandemic, people will be assholes. Hence the lack of toilet paper in our stores. Still. So today, a guy is coming to my driveway and installing a new window (apparently that is an essential business) and I will hand him a check and then disinfect the glass? This is so difficult. Could I live without a window? Sure…

Whatever.

We came home, we tested a Discord server for gaming next week, and the girlchild came home…

It looks like she’s reading to the dog, but she’s not. She was laid off by her company and we suspect trying to get a job is somewhat impossible right now. She’s trying. She’ll try applying for unemployment. And yeah, we flew her on a plane with like 8 other people (JetBlue is starting to ground flights soon, so that might have been one of the last flights that didn’t get canceled). We’re keeping her away from the older people in the family, but we still have two going to work between the two households (mine and my ex’s, and the kids go back and forth until someone gets sick), because they are also apparently essential. I’m lucky to not have any requirements right now beyond checking email, although that may change in the future. She’s not here forever. Just until we figure shit out. By WE I mean HER. Meanwhile, she gets doggy love.

My lemon tree has new leaves…

Nature has no idea. And that’s OK. This bird was bathing in the water in the tray under our Christmas tree, which lives outside on the deck for most of the year.

Now I need a birdbath.

These arrived yesterday, the newest shipment in the Anna Maria Horner Applique Stories. I’m going to make another woman block…and then embroider it.

The fabrics are a challenge. The solid peach is the easy skin color, so I won’t be using it for her flesh. I stared at the fabrics for at least a week last time before deciding what to do. I can use one as a background, although last time, I decided to use something very bland and calm from my stash (maybe that’s what the peach is for?), because the rest of it was so out there. Anyway…expect something to happen with these in the next few days. Because I can. I really like most of them…solids are not my favorites and the lavender roses are Eh, but that’s the best part of this…the olive fabric is such a stretch…I love it.

Maybe this virus lets me just make what I want. OK, I’m still having a hard time with that.

Although I stitched wool for a bit last night (sorry, forgot about a photo…try tomorrow)…I eventually got up off the couch with my post-hike tired self and came in here and started the stitch down…

So meditative. So relaxing. So hard to stop.

Hopefully I can finish today and then sandwich today or tomorrow. The floors need cleaning first. I vacuumed everything even though it’s not my month. I’m sure someone will cover me at some point when I am busy (cough cough).

So yeah, I stitch down all the pieces, because no fusible lasts forever. I’m not halfway done, but I got a good chunk done. I spent the first 20 minutes fighting with the machine to get it to stitch correctly.

Kitten action…

They play any way they can…

There was some play before this.

I was up early this morning because I thought I’d have to take my car in to get the window replaced, but then he called and said he’d be here later…probably safer for both of us than having me sit in a lobby of some repair place (I was going to bring a chair and sit outside).

Nature doesn’t see this morning as any different than any other morning.

Tonight there is a Netflix DVD here, plus we will be supporting some small food business, and hopefully there is stitching and maybe a hike/walk as well. Plus more webinars. And trying to finish my book before it gets returned electronically to the library. Hope you are all healthy and well, and if you are on the front lines in some way, we appreciate you and send you lots of love.